Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Miura have announced a demonstration test of their jointly developed microplastic collection device installed on a newbuilding wood chip carrier which was conducted in late October.
The microplastic collection device is activated during operation of the ballast water treatment system, with the assumption that collection takes place during cargo handling operations.
Using a filter with a backwashing function as part of the ballast water treatment system, the device efficiently collects microplastics trapped in the filter immediately before the treated water is discharged overboard. MOL claims it is the world’s first operator to install and demonstrate the microplastic collective device on a merchant vessel. The project team is continuing to improve the device and is examining ways to make it easier for crewmembers to use and increase microplastic collection capacity.
Plastic waste remains in the sea for an extended period of time, causing concerns about global-scale environmental pollution. MOL’s initiative on ocean plastic pollution started with participation in the “Plastic Smart” forum hosted by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, and since then it has been expanding activities including marine plastic pollution-related scientific research with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).